Air Traffic Controller iPhone App Review.
We ran across a fun and challenging game in the AppStore the other day that we simply couldn't put down. So after playing the first 23 or so levels, having drank enough coffee and ignoring everything and everyone else around us, we've put our iPhones and iPods aside and moved on to writing its review.
With Air Traffic Controller you are put in charge of directing incoming and outgoing flights from the flight control center, attempting to clear the air space avoiding any air-accidents and flight casualties. Your job appears simple at the beginning for the first few levels, but be assured calamities will ensue if you take it lightly. The controls are simple enough. Tap on a plane to select it and then simply swipe across the screen from the plane location to the destination to get it moving in that direction. You have 4 destination checkpoints, at the sides of your screen, plus the airport where you can land planes on their designated runways. Planes will be coming in from all four checkpoints and will also be taking off from the runways on the airport, so pay close attention to where you direct outgoing planes as to not crash them into the incoming ones.
Apart from this, you're looking at a huge diversity in game play, around 49 challenging levels of fun, and everything it takes to simulate a busy air space right on your iPhone, from busy airports with up to 6 runways, multiple plane types (small crafts and jumbo jets that control and behave differently) and a bunch of scenarios. This diversity is definitely what makes the game stand apart from other simulators and similar games on the iPhone and iPod Touch. You have day and night scenarios, you have to react to weather conditions (control planes in the snow, wind and rain), computer crashes and plane emergencies, no-fly zones, and even Presidential visits.
With all this diversity, the game definitely needed a tutorial to explain all the situations, which the development team put together nicely for the players. The touch interface and the Comand & Conquer-style waypoint system make the game play easy and intuitive. One of the concerns has to do with the graphics and the low-detail level, when with such a nicely drawn out game style and engaging level of play, it definitely deserved better graphics. The weather effects and in-game sounds are pretty realistic, leaving only the graphics up for improvement.
The team over at Lunagames clearly decided there are no boundaries and no limits for what the iPhone can handle when it comes to developing a great game that you can enjoy for hours. It's by far one of the best simulators we've seen in a while.
The game is a steal at $0.99, which its current Sale Price (from $2.99), and you're also given the option to try before you buy with its lite version offering you the first 5 levels to simulate what the full version offers. The lite version is actually what we have small problem with and a request for the development team. The first 5 levels don't differ much in difficulty and intensity, which much decreases the fun. The game is so much more than guiding those 5 or 7 planes to their destination, and what the full version offers is simply amazing. We'd like to see some more of those features in the lite version, to offer a better glimpse of the full game. The game is definitely worth the buck nevertheless.
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